Sholing6-3BishopsCleeve

Scorers :  Barry Mason 19, Nick Watts 21 & 61, Dan Mason 50 & 54, Sam Wilson 75  /  Jack Watts 2 & 79, Joe Tustain (pen) 36

Date : Saturday 13th December 2014 - 3:00pm kick off - Evo-stik League Southern, South & West

Sholing : Rory Anderson, Kevin Brewster, Sam Oloafe, TJ Cuthbertson, Dan Miller, Jack Smith, Barry Mason [c], Alex Sawyer (Jess Walklin 74), Dan Mason (Sam Wilson 74) Byron Mason, Nick Watts (Tobi Adekunle 77).  Sub not used:  Taurean Manders

Yellow Card : Dan Miller 36, Kevin Brewster 74

Bishops Cleeve : Steve Benbow, Rob Way, Matt Magee, Callum Preece (Ryan Shaw 57), Adam Millard, Dan Sherry, Sam Mason (Christian Boateng 68), Sam Sholly, Joe Tustain, Sol Wheatley, Jack Watts.  Sub not used: Craig Hopkins

Yellow Card :  Dan Sherry 33

Attendance : 97

Man of the Match :  Byron Mason

Referee :  Dan Berry  Assistants: Steve Currie & Sean Jenkins

The Boatmen finally found their scoring boots in a highly entertaining game at the Silverlake Arena.  After a few low scoring affairs, bottom of the table Bishops Cleeve were unable to keep Sholing at bay, despite taking a shock early lead.

Team News: Dan Miller returned from a foot injury to replace the suspended Mike Byrne at centre half.  After scoring the winner in midweek, Dan Mason got a start in place of Tobi Adekunle.  Injured pair, Matt Brown & Marv McLean looked on, with both not expected back until mid January.

Brilliant winter sunshine basked the ground at kick-off and it was the visitors who started the brighter and took a shock early lead after just two minutes.  Jack Watts found himself in space around 25 yards out and pinged a shot into the top right hand corner for an excellent goal.  Sholing first threatened after 7 minutes when an inswinging corner was headed goalwards by TJ but the keeper tipped it over the bar.  It was like watching an action replay a minute later when this time, Bryon Mason's header from a corner was tipped over in identical fashion.  The Boatmen were slowly getting our game together and from a Byron flick-on, Wattsie was in the penalty area, but off-balance, he skied his shot over the bar.  

The equaliser came on 19 minutes when after a corner, Dan Miller found himself 8 yards out in the middle of the goal, but was hauled down and the referee pointed to the spot.  Would Sholing score from a penalty, something we often struggle with?  Well, yes and no!   BARRY MASON's effort to the keeper's right was saved, but the ball dropped nicely for Barry to side-foot into the empty net. 

Two minutes later and Sholing had turned the game round.  Alex Sawyer broke from midfield, powered past the defence into the left hand side of the box and his low hard cross was met at far post by the in-rushing NICK WATTS to fire into the roof of the net.   I think everyone expected the Boatmen to go on and dominate the rest of the half, but we slowed the game down and lost our rhythm and allowed the visitors back into it.  On 36 minutes, Dan Miller slid in a bit recklessly on the edge of the box and brought down the Bishops Cleeve forward for a penalty.  It was duely dispatched by Joe Tustain.  The rest of the first half was uneventful so the Boatmen went into the break reflecting on why they took their foot off the gas.  HT 2-2

As the sun dipped behind the Clubhouse, the temperature dropped, but Sholing came out fired up and took the game by the scruff of the neck.  On 50 minutes, DAN MASON controlled a cross and from 10 yards out, took a touch and fired in a low shot past the keeper.  D-Dan got his second not long after.  A dinked ball over the top found DAN MASON in a race with the Bishops Cleeve defender, who wasn't strong enough to halt Dan's progess into the area and from a narrow angle, he clipped the ball past the keeper and into the opposite corner.   Sholing were rampant now, playing some fast one-touch football that had the opposition pulled all over the shop.  After a couple of half chances, the Boatmen's fifth goal came when NICK WATTS twisted and turned into the box and from 15 yards his fierce shot skimmed off a defender and inside the near post. 

It was a joy to watch Sholing in full flow and a lovely give & go from Barry Mason found him inside the area, but his shot cannoned off the post and away.   Dan Mason was on the hunt for a hat-trick, but he was denied by big brother Byron!  A cross looked to be heading for the unmarked Dan at the far post, but a few yards in front, Byron climbed high, but the ball skidded off his head and beyond Dan.  It was the last action for D-Dan who was replaced by Sam Wilson.  In a double-change, Alex Sawyer was replaced by Jess Walklin. 

Sam Wilson didn't have to wait long to get involved and to get a goal. On 75 minutes Byron Mason broke into the box and with all the time in the world, he calmly squared a perfect pass for SAM WILSON to prod the ball over the line from 5 yards.   After a hectic 35 minutes of one-way traffic, it was perhaps understandable that the pace then dropped from the home side after the substitutions.  To their credit, Bishops Cleeve never gave up and played some good stuff in the final 10 minutes or so.  They got a third when after some nice interplay, Jack Watts found himself with Rory Anderson to beat and he fired into the corner.  The Sholing keeper, who was a spectator for much of the 2nd half then pulled off a great save to tip a shot over the bar, but it was the Boatmen's day.  FT 6-3

View from the Stand: The improvement continues, that's now 7 wins in our last 10 games.  The three defeats were all by the odd goal, one of them was against a team from two divisions above and in each of them, we probably deserved at least a draw.  The team has been looking a strong unit in defence & midfield, with perhaps, just the lack of goals a cause for concern. Hopefully, today will give us an injection of confidence up front.  When we play at a high tempo going forward, we look great and Bryon Mason is growing into his target man role. Leading the line and setting up his teammates.  Yes, Bishops Cleeve are without a win all season and have a pourous defence, but if we play like we did for the bulk of the second half, very few teams in this league could live with us.

Photos by Ray Routledge (click an image to enlarge)